Last week I woke up with good news. I have been awarded the title of International Birth Photographer of the Year 2020 at the Birth Photographer International Image Competition (BPIIC). Not only thanks to my photos, but also because of my commitment to the community of birth photographers. I was very surprised by the news and almost fell off my chair when I read it. Really amazing.

Five years ago, I accidentally entered the photography world. At the time, I was still working as an inspector in the childcare industry. Each civil servant received a career budget that could be spent on something that had nothing to do with their own profession. With that money, I followed the basic training at the photography trade school.

It was intended as a hobby, but quickly got out of hand. In the end, I even quit my job. Not because it wasn't fun, but this is my passion. Birth photography is so special. All the emotions you can think of will pass by: relief, tension, exhaustion, sadness, and joy. I see everything through the lens. It is very special to be part of that as a photographer. I think it's great that people trust me to be in such an intimate moment.

More info: Instagram | Facebook | twitter.com | renatevanlith.nl

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Dorothy Cloud
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2 months ago

I'm here, I'm happy.

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In the meantime, I have attended dozens of deliveries. I do a maximum of two per month. You can't plan a hundred such shoots in a year. You never know when labor will start and there is no colleague I can alternate with, like a midwife. It is therefore very intense. I have experienced deliveries lasting more than 24 hours. Then, you work non-stop, without a break, and without sleep.

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PrehistoricPeach
Community Member
2 months ago

That right there is f*****g mother nature. Go mom!

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Finch
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2 months ago

Love how they are looking at each other!

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For the competition, I had to send in not only photos, but also documents such as customer reviews and letters of recommendation. In addition, I had to demonstrate to what extent I am involved in the profession and committed to the community of birth photographers.

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Clementine
Community Member
2 months ago

That frown!!! 😂

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Lucy Bell
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2 months ago

The human form is so beautiful.

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That wasn't a problem for me. For example, I have been involved with others in establishing a quality mark for birth photographers in the Netherlands and Belgium, which shows hospitals that the photographer has sufficient knowledge and professionalism to attend a delivery. Of course, you shouldn't get in the way as a photographer. Several hospitals now work together with this quality mark.

In addition, I have set up a platform where Dutch-speaking birth photographers can come together. Here, people can consult and ask each other questions. There is a lot of interaction. It is meant to lift each other up a bit.

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Tracy Wolfe
Community Member
2 months ago

Family ❤️

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BoredPanda is awesome
Community Member
2 months ago

The baby is like: I don't want to be here! Put me back this instant!!!

And I am also the founder of the Birth & Beyond Photography Awards. It's a photo competition for family photographers who capture motherhood with everything that goes into it. I thought it was important that there were more opportunities for birth photographers to submit their work to photo contests. As a lifestyle, fresh 48, and birth photographer, I was often left out with my genre and there was often no competition that suited me. At the Birth & Beyond Photography Awards, there is a special birth category, in addition to more common categories such as pregnancy, newborn, baby, children, and family. Motherhood should be celebrated, right?! All genres are therefore welcome: studio, portrait, fine-art, fresh 48, lifestyle, documentary, posed and un-posed photography, and more.

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Corey Smith
Community Member
2 months ago

This reminds me of seeing my daughter for the first time and her seeing us for the first time. It's an indescribable feeling to those who don't have children.

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Sue Koches
Community Member
2 months ago

As Robin Williams once said - "They hand you a little old man dipped in 40 weight!"

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I hope to be able to do this work for a long time and to be able to professionalize birth photography even further. Despite the fact that standing on call is very intense, this is a wonderful job. I have grateful customers, I can be part of wonderful moments and see new life being born. It couldn't be more beautiful, right?

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Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
2 months ago

Such a face on the baby. It's like.............I'm here & I'm so proud!

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Lucia Coleman
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

WOW this is amazing EDIT: i didnt mean it the way you might think

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Ana Vaquer Perez
Community Member
2 months ago

Awwwwww the tongueeeeeeee

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Annie
Community Member
2 months ago

Safe, secure, loving cuddles

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Kristen Medina
Community Member
2 months ago

I will never forget starring at that flimsy blue curtain, waiting with desperation and anticipation for my baby’s first cries.

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Jennifer Baumann
Community Member
2 months ago

C-section birth.... Beautiful.... I had 3 like this and I thank you for the photo as I have never seen this birth. xx

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Janie Martini
Community Member
2 months ago

Precious baby

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Quinton James
Community Member
2 months ago

She looks like the kind of person who would quit living before she quit doing this job.

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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
2 months ago

for a horrible second I thought that the baby was being held by it's feet by the toddler

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Jan Smith
Community Member
2 months ago

aw c'mon, what are you doing to me now?

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Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
2 months ago

Looks so peaceful!

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the bordest panda
Community Member
2 months ago

red is sus

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hoRSefAce
Community Member
2 months ago

I know it doesn't hurt them because their tendons haven't tightened or whatever but why do they roll them into a ball like that?

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Mary Dellenbusch
Community Member
2 months ago

I hear it is more comfortable to give birth in water. Or, at least as comfortable as giving birth can be. More natural.

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Rebekah
Community Member
2 months ago

The joy

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Charlotte Anderson [STUDENT]
Community Member
2 months ago

...cute baby

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Annie
Community Member
2 months ago

Love the little hand clasp

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Charlotte Anderson [STUDENT]
Community Member
2 months ago

Aawwww.

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Lori T Wisconsin
Community Member
2 months ago

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There have been babies that contracted Legionnaires disease in water births. Most women leak a little pee or poop in the last stage of labor, too. Seems like an increased risk of infection.

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Note: this post originally had 84 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.